The South West London Gardener

5 Low-maintenance landscaping ideas

landscape garden

Gardening isn’t always simple.

With many different plants, materials, and designs that can form your landscaping plan, it’s important you find the right ones that work for you.

If you live a busy life, you may not be able to tend to your garden as much as you would like, therefore low-maintenance landscaping ideas are vital.

If that sounds like you, then here are seven top ways of using your latest landscaping project to create a low-maintenance garden from the team at The Southwest London Gardener.

1. Pick your Perennials

Perennials are a great place to start.

Not only is there a huge variety to choose from that can add a splash of colour to your garden, but they are also long-lasting, often living for at least two years.

This is great for a busy gardener, as it means you aren’t spending a lot of time digging up plants after every growth.

Some great perennials available in the UK are hibiscus that grow into a beautiful, deep red colour, the stunning smells and visuals that are offered by nepeta (also known as catnip), and sedum which can act as a tough but appealing shrubbery.

While these are some of the more popular choices, there are tons of options available to suit any design including evergreens such as Bergenia, euphorbia and hellebore.

The difference with the evergreens is that they will flower throughout the year, whereas the deciduous varieties will disappear in Autumn and Winter before blooming again from the root plant in Spring and Summer.

Some don’t even reach their full potential for three to four years!

So, when it comes to picking your plants, make sure you choose one that will last a long time and require little to no maintenance for years.

2. Choose Long-Lasting Materials

A key part of garden design is choosing the right furniture.

Do you want a seating area where you can entertain, or a quiet spot where you can enjoy a book surrounded by nothing but the sounds of nature?

Either way, you’re going to need furniture, and if you want a low-maintenance garden, it’s important you choose the right kind.

Whereas some wood furniture may require treatment to be able to be left outside, alternatives such as cast aluminium can be left outside with minimal rusting.

When choosing your furniture, it is a great idea to buy materials that have been pre-coated to be long-lasting and weather resistant.

Rattan is a material that can be fairly expensive, but if treated right can stay tough against the rigours of the great British weather.

If you are going to buy wood and you have the time to maintain it, you could be buying furniture that will last you many years to come.

Hardwearing wood such as oak is a good choice for this reason, and of course, always look for the FSC certificate to ensure your wood is coming from a sustainable source.

3. Move On from Grass and Mud

There’s no denying that grass can be high maintenance.

In the height of summer, grass can grow at a rate of half a centimetre a day.

This means that if you are looking to keep your grass looking neat and tidy, you need to be mowing that lawn once, if not twice a week.

You will also need to keep your lawn moist and full of nutrients.

Sound like too much work for you?

Then turf is a great option for something that can look great and also require little to no maintenance.

We have many happy customers who have opted to use turf, such as in this garden in Clapham South.

One in four gardens now feature artificial turf, and while it does lack the natural feel, it is a great choice for someone who doesn’t have time to tend to the garden regularly.

 Another great choice for a garden floor is decking.

Easy to build and maintain, decking doesn’t just provide a low-maintenance area, but it also provides a great zone for you to host guests or relax.

Paint it any colour you want and use hardwearing wood to get a long-lasting and visually stunning section of your garden.

And finally, why not add some stones to your garden?

Paving slabs can be a great option for a low-maintenance pathway through your garden. Smaller stones also make a great visual for flower beds or borders.

The possibilities are endless, and the best thing is, some of these low-maintenance features can become a real centre piece of your garden and add a really nice touch to your landscaping design.

4. Make Your Gardening Simpler

If you don’t have a lot of time to do your gardening, you probably don’t want to have to climb into your overalls and get your hands really dirty to tend for your plants.

In this case, raised planters can be a huge plus, such as in this outdoor space between Clapham and Wandsworth.

Simply put, they make gardening easier and quicker.

No more crawling on all fours to try and tend for your plants, when now you can simply bend down and do all you have to.

And while we’re talking about plants, choosing the right ones is essential to a low-maintenance garden.

Not just the perennials we mentioned earlier, but also picking native plants such as bellflowers, primrose, honeysuckle, forget me not, and lily of the valley are all great choices of plants used to the climate in our region of London and therefore tough and long-lasting against the weather.

Native plants require less water and less maintenance while boasting benefits such as attracting wildlife, making them a must-have for a low-maintenance garden.

Get some of these in your newly built raised planting beds and your gardening will be easy, quick, and certainly little maintenance.

5. Add Some Mulch

Mulch is something of a miracle material when it comes to gardening.

If you want to be as low maintenance as possible, then you will want to cut down on time-consuming jobs such as weeding and watering the plants.

This is where mulch comes in.

Spreading a layer of it over the soil in your planting areas is the ideal solution to providing the perfect growing environment with little fuss.

Firstly, mulch is long-lasting food for your plants. The nutrients that are spread throughout mulch slowly disintegrate into your soil, providing your plants with plenty of the food they need to grow over time.

It also maintains moisture which is also slowly released which is another positive.

Adding other qualities such as monitoring soil temperature and suppressing weeds, and you have found your new favourite thing for a low-maintenance garden.

So, what do you put in it?

Well, mulch is essentially made up of garden waste.

Wood chip, grass clippings, leaves, twigs, fruit and vegetable waste, and even manure can be the perfect materials for organic mulch.

And the final two benefits.

Number one is that it is good for the planet as you are recycling your waste.

And number two, it adds a neat and tidy finish to your planting beds, rounding off the sleek look of your low-maintenance landscaping design.

Landscaping with The Southwest London Gardener

If you would like to transform your garden, then get in touch with us today.

We have experts in everything from horticulture and garden design to soft and hard landscaping, so if you’re looking for a low-maintenance garden, no matter what stage of the process you’re in, we are here to help.

Alternatively, if you want to become part of our team, we’re always looking for new gardeners to join us. Visit our careers page for all of the details.